National Association of Professional Women Inducts Jan Lobeck, Founder/Executive Director, Sheri’s House of Hope, Inc., Into its VIP Professional Woman of the Year Circle

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Jan Lobeck is selected for her outstanding leadership and commitment within her profession

I believe in taking tragedies and turning them into triumphs.

The National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) honors Jan Lobeck as a 2017-2018 inductee into its VIP Woman of the Year Circle. She is recognized with this prestigious distinction for leadership in nonprofit management. NAPW is the nation’s leading networking organization exclusively for professional women, boasting more than 850,000 members, a thriving eChapter and over 200 operating Local Chapters.

“I’m pleased to welcome Jan into this exceptional group of professional women,” said NAPW President Star Jones. “Her knowledge and experience in her industry are valuable assets to her organization and community.”

Inspired by her love for her daughter Sheri, who was brutally murdered by her abusive husband in 2004, Jan Lobeck started Sheri’s Memorial Fund, Inc. In 2009, she published "Not in Vain," a book about her daughter’s murder and her fight for justice. Initially, Ms. Lobeck only planned to speak out about domestic violence, a topic she admits she knew nothing about until the tragic loss of her daughter, but her mission soon grew. “Out of the nonprofit, I had started a survivors’ closet,” she said. “I realized when they [the victims and their children] leave the abusive home, they have nothing on their backs so I opened the closet and asked the community to donate.”

The response from the community was overwhelming, so in 2012, Ms. Lobeck opened a thrift shop and soon after, renamed her nonprofit Sheri’s House of Hope, Inc. Through proceeds from the thrift shop as well as numerous fundraisers she held throughout the year, the nonprofit was able to purchase nine acres of land. The plans are to build long-term transitional housing, including efficiency apartments, for abuse victims, as well as an educational center. Although she experienced a financial setback recently when the thrift store flooded, Ms. Lobeck hopes now to focus on seeing her vision become a reality.

“Our goal is to build housing and an educational center so these women can live with their children and learn how to parent,” she said. “I’m working with a junior college. Some of these women only have a GED, if that. I’m most concerned about the children who think this life [domestic abuse] is normal.” Other plans include creating a farm and garden that will help teach families to be independent, nurturing and loving.

Ms. Lobeck, who is still raising her 15-year-old grandson, the youngest of her daughter Sheri’s three children, will continue her mission to educate others about the signs of domestic abuse and how to prevent it. She will be revising her 2009 book for a new publisher and may write a second book based on her daughter’s diary.

“I want to reach as many people as I can,” said Ms. Lobeck. “All it takes is education; know the signs. I believe in taking tragedies and turning them into triumphs. I try to give hope to others living in a violent home.”

Named 2012 Person of the Year in hometown

About NAPW
NAPW’s mission is to provide an exclusive, highly advanced networking forum to successful women executives, professionals and entrepreneurs where they can aspire, connect and achieve. Through innovative resources, unique tools and progressive benefits, professional women interact, exchange ideas, advance their knowledge and empower each other.

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Lisa Mancuso
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